Archive for May, 2009

I got a new Easter outfit!

Yeah, I know. It’s Memorial Day. LOL

Back when I took Meagan shopping for an Easter dress, I spotted this really pretty lime green and navy skirt and jacket set that I liked. I wanted to have it for my own Easter outfit, but it was $80 and I don’t spend $80 on an outfit no matter what. That should get at least 3 outfits in my opinion. Preferably four or five.

Anyway. I had a coupon for 25% off a single item at Bealls today and decided to go see if I can maybe find a nice white blouse to wear with a couple of skirts. I didn’t find any white shirts that really tripped my trigger, as my dad would say, but I did find exactly 2 lime green outfits left…at 1/2 off!

I tried both on since they were a size apart and they both fit. I went with the larger to make sure that they still fit if they should shrink some in the wash. With the coupon I got the set for $32 after tax. That’s a couple dollars less than what I had to spend ($$ I made from selling clothes a couple months ago). =)

Isn’t God good? I got a new Easter dress after all! =)

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Three or four times the blessing!

The sweet friend I talked about in my last post… the one who bought my lunch the day we had the moms day out? Well she was in on the whole socks thing.

Tonight she called up and asked if she could come bring me some clothes she bought for me today at the Goodwill store! How cool is that?!

God (and my friend, too!) just gave me 9 tops and 3 skirts, and get this… I know God was in it because every last one FIT! I kid you not!

He is so good! I pray that He blesses my sweet friend even more!

Twice the Blessing

Awhile back a group of us young-ish mothers went out for lunch and shopping. I had no $$ at the time so a very sweet friend of mine bought my lunch. Another mom (new to the church) came with and I noticed her oohing-and-aahing over a pair of shea-butter infused socks at Bath and Body Works. For whatever reason (ok, it was the Lord) I wanted badly to get her a pair. I knew I couldn’t then, but I was determined that when I could… I would.

Around the same time I started using Mypoints.com and Swagbucks.com. It took about 3mo or so, but I’ve managed to collect some gift cards. $20 worth at Amazon (about $10 of which I used to get Meagan’s un-birthday gift), and then more recently I had enough points at Mypoints.com to get a gift card. When I saw that I could get a $10 Bath and Body Works gift card, it didn’t take me very long to decide that’s what I should do! =)

I’d been thinking about those socks for months by this point, and had repeatedly tried hard to remember whether she was looking at the pink or blue socks. I just could not remember. It bugged me no-end because I wanted so bad to get “just the right” ones. The gift card would only cover one pair, as they were $6-7 a pair. I knew in the back of my mind (or heart, I guess), though, that when it came time, the Lord would help me know which ones were right.

So I went to ask for the gift card and instead of it being an e-gift card (which I expected… like the Amazon.com ones were)… I got a notice saying it would be shipped to my home address. I remembered there was a Bath and Body Works in the mall in the ‘big city’ (lol!) I have to go to see my doctor, so I hoped it would get here in time to take it with me the next time I had an appt.

It came in last week. I had to go to the big city to get labwork done, so Meagan and I paid a visit to Bath and Body Works. I was so excited to finally get the socks for her!

Guess what God did!!! He had this all planned out just so in His timing, I’m sure of it, because when we got there, we discovered the shea-butter infused socks were HALF OFF! That meant I could get 2 pairs… both the pink and the blue… and a gift box to put them in and still not have to pay anything out-of-pocket! So I did! =) When I got home I wrote her name on the box. I’m sure that the socks are going to get to her “just when she needs them”. =) I know because the Lord orchestrated this in His time!

That’s not all, though! Nope! When the Bath and Body Works gift card arrived, there was also a $15 gift card to FTD.com! Now I’m going to be able to send my mom some flowers for her birthday in a couple of weeks!

God is soooo good!

More about diabetes…type Mike!

When I was at Walmart the other day, I spotted a little pocket edition of Diabetes for Dummies. I bought it on the spot!

I read it tonight and already feel so much better informed about our latest ‘cross to bear’.

Over the years we’ve acquired more and more medical conditions and so I’ve had to learn how to manage several different things. I’m no expert by any means, and I’m DEFINITELY not a doctor (though for the first 20yr or so of my life I planned on being one), but I do feel reasonably ‘versed’ and capable handling:

  • asthma
  • allergies
  • eczema
  • subcutaneous injections
  • nebulizer treatments
  • precocious puberty
  • growth hormone deficiency
  • colon cancer (my Dad was the not-so-proud bearer of this and the following conditions)
  • dehydration
  • ileostomy
  • bowel obstruction
  • chronic diarrhea
  • fistulas

Last year (2008) we officially added ADHD, depression, and anxiety to the list. All of which I’d suspected and so had really been managing for many years, just at a more relaxed level and with no help from the medical community.

We also added me into the mix. For the first time ever I started trying to manage/care for ME and my diagnoses/conditions. That also added new ones to learn…

  • chronic Lyme disease which actually encompasses several different strains of infections and several different deficiencies
  • hypothyroidism
  • intra-muscular injections (though I made Mike give them!)

And the diagnosis/condition/area of study of the year?

  • High blood glucose

That would be Mike’s and as I said before I’ve just begun this new crash course in medicine.

Just tonight I learned a few basic facts about both type 1 (not Mike) and type 2 diabetes, as well as the period before full-blown diabetes begins, which is known as prediabetes. I think Mike’s blood glucose levels put him into this category (prediabetes), but I’m not entirely sure, because the doc did not tell us his actual level. He just said it was “a little high”. We haven’t been able to start testing at home yet, either, so I have no #s to judge by.

As I’ve had to do with every diagnosis/condition to date, I’m having to educate myself (and my family), because of a failure on the parts of the doctors to do so. However, I have to give credit where credit is due! My Lyme doctor has done the absolute best job of educating the patient and/or family out of all the doctors (and that’s MANY) this family has dealt with in the last 10+ years. Unfortunately I did not meet my doctor until after I had already done a ton of research/learning on the TBI (tick borne infections) and the management thereof. In fact the research I did helped lead me to him.

Back to the diabetes. =) Tonight I also learned a little bit about how we will need to manage his condition, and how I’m going to need to help him change his diet and lifestyle.

A couple of specific things that I can do to help are to change the type of butter and oil I use in cooking. I’m also going to try and get him to switch to wheat bread and to cut back on the amount of sugar he uses in his coffee! I have a couple of ideas about exercise, too. I’m thinking about maybe taking evening walks as a family on days he doesn’t work.

I’ve also decided to invest in a couple of books to help with this particular condition. I’ve never really purchased (though I have read some) literature for most of the other things we deal with. I did purchase a couple of things on life-threatening food allergies when we first started that journey because it meant such a huge change in thinking and looking at things. One thing I bought was a cookbook. It was invaluable back when we were dealing with multiple food allergies.

This diabetes type Mike… whether it’s prediabetes or full-blown type 2 already… means another huge change in thinking and looking at things. And like the food allergies it means I need to re-evaluate my grocery shopping and cooking habits. That is why I bought the books before, and that’s why I’m doing it again. =)

I’ll be getting me a diabetes cookbook soon, as well as the expanded version of Diabetes for Dummies (unless I find another general diabetes book that is more highly recommended).

Now that I have my own set of the Oxford Medical Textbook, I’ll also be reading the pertinent sections in that, too. (Of course!)

I’m actually getting a little excited… as I always do… because of all the new learning. PLUS, I’m already seeing signs of better health in Mike because of the new medications (he mowed a LOT today and tonight told me he did fine-didn’t get real fatigued- and still wasn’t tired), AND I’m seeing signs of potential health/life improvements based on the things I’ve read so far. It’s almost like anticipating a new baby, I guess. I’ve felt the same with every diagnosis we’ve gotten.

We get the diagnosis and pretty soon afterward it hits me… Once we get this under control and are managing it fairly well, we should enjoy vast improvements! It’s kinda exciting to think about just how much better that person might get to be feeling/acting/functioning once we get the newly diagnosed condition under control!

I count each new diagnosis as a blessing for that very reason!

A new adventure. Thanks, VA!

Mike got his new prescriptions in the mail today (VA). I am SO not happy with the supposed ‘care’ the VA gives. Or at least through this particular office.

He was put on Metformin last year with absolutely no instructions on anything having to do with diabetes. No diet info, no blood sugar level info, nothing. He called several times and even went back in to ask about a monitor and test strips, since we were thinking it was probably a good idea to test if he was taking meds to lower his blood sugar. The doc kept telling him there was no need and so he never got a monitor.

Since we had no way to test to make sure his levels weren’t getting too low (and his levels at the doc’s were only just barely high), he just quit taking the Metformin.

He had another checkup last week and I went with him this time. This time he did get a script for testing supplies along with the Metformin, cholesterol med, nitroglycerin, and inhaler. Still no information on managing the diabetes, though. He also got put on a waiting list for a sleep study so we can get something done about his horrible sleep apnea (granted it’s a years wait, but at least it’s in the works…).

Anyway. His meds came in the mail today. He now has an Accu-Chek glucometer, lancets, test strips, and something else that goes with it that says to use 1 dose a day to calibrate the glucometer. The problem is there was NO information or instructions on how to use the thing. So, we have all these new tools for managing his diabetes, but not a clue on how to use any of them. Lovely.

It’s a good thing he married into the family that he did. I have an aunt who is a diabetes nurse. Her whole job is teaching newly diagnosed diabetics what they need to know to be able to manage their condition. I’m hoping we can get her to meet us at my grandparents sometime soon and give us a crash course.

It makes me wonder about all those veterans who DON’T have access to that, though. How many other veterans has this doc put on blood sugar meds with absolutely no instructions on what to do to take care of themselves? How many of those are capable of figuring it out on their own? I mean some of the older veterans may have difficulties with memory or may even be Alzheimer patients. Does this doc prescribe meds to them the same way? That is– he enters the meds into the computer (says nothing about the meds in the office) and then a couple of weeks later they just show up in the mail.

Add to that the fact that they didn’t want me going into the exam room with him (I insisted) which tells me that 99% of the time no one is “allowed” in with the vets…

It makes me sick to think of how many veterans are getting such sub-standard care just out of this one office. =(

*update* Mike just got back from asking the pharmacist at Walmart for some help. Turns out the lancets the VA sent will not fit in the pen-thingy. Also, there still is no actual machine to READ the test strips. This thing that came in today is just for pricking the finger. >=(

Happy Mother’s Day to me!

Mother’s Day the last 3 years have been interesting. Mike has forgotten the actual date every year. Or at least, it seems that way. He DID come to church with us last year on Mother’s Day, so it’s possible he remembered and came to church because of the date but truth be told, I don’t think so. I don’t think he knew it was Mother’s Day until he heard the pastor mention it. LOL

Nevertheless, the One who truly made me a mother has not forgotten. Three years ago, Mike and the kids picked out some cards for me, then forgot to give them to me. Several weeks later, on a day when I was MOST discouraged and depressed, I read an article in a bible-based magazine about their Mother’s Day gift for their mom. About 30min later, Mike came in and handed me a small bag with some cards in it and said “Happy late Mother’s Day. We kinda forgot to give these to you.” (or something like that) I knew then, that while they might have picked the cards and sentiments out, the timing was all God’s! God was giving me a little encouragement and a “Happy Mother’s Day” gift, too!

Then last year, Mike came to church with us. Again, I kinda think he didn’t have a clue what the date was, but you know what? God knew. God’s impeccable timing is what led Mike to come to church with us on that day.

So what did the Lord have in store for me this Mother’s Day? Well, Mike had to work a 12hr shift, so it wasn’t him coming to church with us…

For starters, even though I really didn’t feel up to going to church and was soooo tired, I went ahead and went. In Sunday School we had a really good lesson, and it was just a good time. Then right before the service, one of the ladies asked me to work with the toddlers this morning. Now, I do love the preaching, but I’ll admit, I love being with the little tykes, too, and feel so blessed to be able to ‘work toddlers’ when I get the chance.

One of the little sweeties wanted to sit in my lap the whole time and just snuggle. She was sooo sweet! Then she told me, “Miss Chris, I love you.” Talk about melting a heart! LOL

So morning service was good, even though I did miss the preaching. =)

When we left church, we went by the store to pick up some cokes (her request) and some chocolate (my decree!) for my mom. I planned on driving from there, out to her place, and spending the day just kinda hanging out.

We did do that, but first the Lord gave me His ‘card’. He made a way for my kids took me out to eat!

We were checking out at the store and met a lady from church. She was just coming in the store, and stopped to say hello. She said something like it seemed everyone was going out and she said she wanted to go out too. Her kids were out of town, though, so that wasn’t happening this year. She asked if we were going out, and I said no, we were headed for my mom’s. I told her that I rarely went out on Mother’s Day, and just as conversation told her that usually Mike takes his buddy out to eat on Mother’s Day. LOL He has done that for several years. I don’t think he plans it intentionally, I think it’s a case of he gets out and then realizes what day it is. lol

Anyway. She told the kids they should take me out to lunch and Meagan just kinda shrugged and said “we don’t have any money”. Next thing I knew she was pressing a $20 into Meagan’s hand and telling them to take me out right now!

I tried telling her she didn’t need to do that… really… since we were headed out to my mom’s and everything. She wouldn’t take no for an answer and just smiled and said “Happy Mother’s Day!” as she headed into the store.

So this year, the Lord bought me lunch! The kids and I went to Taco Bell and they went inside (3x to get the order right! HAHA) and took care of the ordering and paying. Then we drove by a coke machine and got drinks. We had full tummies by the time we got to my mom’s and I didn’t have to cook it, nor pay for it!!

After church tonight, we had a little fellowship in the back with sandwhiches and desserts and all. This sweet lady asked me if we’d been able to go out yet and I told her we had and thanked her again. We ended up talking a little and she said she knew what it was like. Apparently her hubby doesn’t do anything for her for Mother’s Day much either. She said that now that her kids were grown, they took care of her, but not her hubby. He says she’s not his mom. LOL She said she had to go home and fix his meal today instead of going out.

Mike got home before we did, so when we came in, I got the kids started on their chores and then went in to tell him I had put an order in for some cream for my joints. (It’s made with manuka honey and bee venom and is really good stuff for the arthritis!) He kinda sighed and hung his head (in response to my spending the $$) and asked if I could consider it a Mother’s Day gift. He said he didn’t realize until he got to work and someone asked him if he was having a good Mother’s Day what day it was. (Did he try to call to tell me Happy Mother’s Day, though? NO!) Anyway, I told him I’d planned on it anyway (and I had… I didn’t expect him to remember and I really need this cream, so I said ok, it’s my Mother’s Day gift), and then asked if he wanted some cornbread with the beans that had been cooking in the crockpot all day. “That sounds good” he said.

So, the sweet lady from church and I both fixed our non-Mother’s-Day-celebrating hubbies a Mother’s Day meal. LOL

I look forward to someday being able to bless a younger lady with the same kind of hubby. I’ll tell her what this dear lady told me… “I know what it’s like.” Then I’ll smile and share some of my Mother’s Day stories with her.

Pics of last 2 finished projects and kids on Easter

I’ve been away from this blog for far too long!! lol It’s just been so busy here, plus it’s difficult for me to get much time on the puter since I have to wait till Mike is at work. (My puter is still ‘in the shop’.)

A lot has happened in the last month or so. I got the stocking finished several weeks ago, and then started on a crocheted shrug for Meagan for Easter. I got that done the Wed or Thurs before Easter (don’t remember which). We also had an all-girls slumber party for Meagan’s 11th Un-birthday party.

Lots of balloons, giggling, nail-polish, food, and fabric paint! She had 4 girls over and they all had a blast. Meagan and one of the other girls were up till about 6am!

Anyway. If I can find them, I’m going to stick pics of the finished stocking and Meagan’s shrug in this post. Lemme see if I can find them…

santacheffinished

shrugfinished

 

Now here is a pic of it on:

megeaster2009

 

And here is one of Matt on Easter, too…

matteaster2009


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